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Wilderness Therapy Programs for Troubled Girls

Wilderness Therapy for Troubled Teen Girls

Wilderness therapy is a completely outdoor-based residential treatment center that combines traditional residential therapy with an adventure-based treatment model. 


It's Crucial For Parents to Thoroughly Research Any Prospective Wilderness Therapy Program

Since its inception in the early 1960s, wilderness therapy has become one of the most popular forms of residential therapy in treating troubled teenage girls. But while the treatment has become increasingly popular with parents of troubled girls, wilderness therapy has plenty of detractors.

Unfortunately, not all wilderness therapy programs are upstanding facilities. Like any burgeoning industry, there are those among the wilderness therapy programs that use the popularity of their treatment to lure parents into sending their children to their facility. Programs like these are only interested in making money and do not adhere to industry standards.

This failure to focus on bringing their program up to code at the expense of losing money, combined with the dangerous nature of living in the outdoors without safety protocols and trained staff, makes some wilderness therapy programs inherently dangerous.

While many wilderness programs are up to code and run by caring individuals who want to save the lives of troubled girls, others fall short of adequate. If parents are thinking about utilizing the services of a full-time wilderness therapy program (programs exclusively set in a wilderness environment), it is vital they first do their due diligence in carefully researching any prospective program before committing their child to their premises. 

While full-time wilderness therapy programs can be potentially dangerous, many safer alternative residential treatment programs utilize aspects of wilderness therapy (such as engaging in outdoor activities for therapeutic purposes) but house their teenage residents indoors. Programs that utilize certain aspects of wilderness therapy include therapeutic boarding schools, residential treatment centers, and even group homes.  

Wilderness Therapy Programs are Prevalent 

As of 2017, more than 100 wilderness therapy programs throughout the United States serve over 10,000 teens and young adults each year. These outdoor-based residential treatment facilities are committed to accreditation, effective treatment, evidence-based research, and monitoring risk management, among other things related to improving the lives of troubled teens.

Wilderness therapy is especially effective in treating troubled teens - Namely, underlying mental, emotional, and behavioral issues that cause typically cause troubled teens to act on out-of-control and self-destructive behaviors.

Wilderness therapy is quickly becoming one of the nation's go-to residential treatment programs for troubled teens. But, of course, the difference between wilderness therapy programs and other traditional residential treatment facilities is that the entire treatment program takes place outdoors - generally, (at least) tens of miles away from the nearest town or city.

What's more, according to leading experts in the field of teenage behavioral science, there is considerable anecdotal and empirical evidence that wilderness programs work.

How do Wilderness Therapy Programs for Teens Operate?

Wilderness therapy programs are typically shorter in duration (no longer than five months) with a smaller number of teens (12-24) than more traditional residential programs, which typically last between 9 to 16 months and house dozens of students at a time.

Like most treatment facilities, wilderness therapy programs offer many different levels, styles, and treatment models. Factors such as a teenager's age and the behavioral, mental, and emotional issues they need to be treated will determine things like the intensity of their individualized treatment program, medication regimen, and drug and alcohol treatment (if applicable).

Wilderness therapy is a popular choice among today's parents of troubled teens. As to why, proponents of wilderness therapy claim that the combination of immersing teens in a wild habitat with modern therapy is overwhelmingly effective in fundamentally improving the behavior, self-worth, and overall quality of life of troubled teens.

What's more, due to wilderness therapy's dynamic models of treatment and its unique setting, the adventure-based treatment is especially effective in treating those who were not successfully treated by more traditional styles of treatment - i.e., one-on-one therapy sessions, conventional residential treatment programs, and drug/drug rehab centers.

One of the parents' main concerns regarding sending their children to an outdoor-based program is their safety will be compromised while living in the wilderness. However, according to recent studies from 2017, the average injury rate of a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens is just 1.12 per 1,000 participants.

According to similar studies, some might even be surprised to learn that wilderness therapy programs are actually safer than living at home. In fact, teens who live at home are actually twice as likely to visit an emergency room due to sickness or injury than the average wilderness therapy participant.

Learn More About Clearview Girls Academy

Clearview Girls Academy Helps Girls Find a Better Path in Life

For over 25 years, the Clearview therapeutic boarding school has helped young women solve complex emotional issues such as attachment disorders, attention deficit, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-destructive or antisocial behavior, and issues involved with adoption. We will help your daughter get past her emotional and trauma struggles, as we have done for so many others. Please call us at (888) 796-5484.

Want to Get The Most Out of What Clearview Girls Academy Has to Offer? Check Out Our New App!

At Clearview, every staff member, counselor, teacher, and child placement specialist has the same goal: to serve the lives of young women in need of changing the trajectory of her life. To meet the goal to save the lives of troubled teenage girls and their relationship with their families, we have created a new app called, The Clearview. 

We hope that The Clearview app will allow us to reach a wider audience of parents who are in desperate need of redirecting their daughter's life to a one with a positive trajectory. Whether we treat a teenage girl on our campus or help a parent in need through the many resources included in our mobile app, our mission is to serve girls and their families. 

Now available on all major platforms, including Apple Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store, and Roku TV, The Clearview app includes exclusive content and invaluable parental resources, including podcasts, workshops, bible studies, testimonials, lectures by Christian mental health professionals, and more.  

To access The Clearview's exclusive and weekly updated content, click here! 

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